Manufacturers less confident in August

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© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 5.4 in August, down from 6.6 in July. Manufacturers are mainly less positive about their order books.

Although confidence has deteriorated over two consecutive months, the indicator is still well above its long-term average in the past two decades (0.7). Business confidence reached an all-time high (9.4) in January 2008, but dipped to an all-time low (-23.5) more than twelve months later. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.

Less positive about order books and future output

In August, Dutch manufacturers were mainly less positive about their order books and about their future output in the next three months. Their mood about stocks of finished products also declined.

Nevertheless, all component indicators of producer confidence are positive for August 2017. Manufacturers anticipating output growth over the next three months outnumber those expecting output decline. More manufacturers consider the number of orders they receive to be large, rather than small, given the time of year. The number of manufacturers defining their stocks of finished products as too small is also larger than those who define them as too large.

Producers in wood and building materials industry most positive

Already for nine months in a row, optimism has prevailed across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. Most optimistic in August were producers in the wood and construction industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Wood and
Electrotechnical products
and machinery
Paper and printing3.1

Manufacturing output up again

Average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.3 percent up in June 2017 from June 2016. The growth rate was somewhat lower than in May. For over eighteen months, manufacturing output has continually been above its year-on-year level. The strongest growth was seen in the transport equipment industry.

German producer confidence undiminished

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Confidence (i.e. the IFO index) once again broke the record of the previous month. Average daily output in the German manufacturing industry was almost higher in June 2017 than one year previously.